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Debunking Egg Industry Myths

The latest meta-analysis of studies on egg consumption and heart disease risk found that even less than a single egg a day is associated with increased risk of both cardiovascular disease and diabetes.

May 12, 2014 |
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Sources Cited

Acknowledgements

Images thanks to wilkeshe via Flickr.

Transcript

In my video, Eggs vs. Cigarettes in Atherosclerosis, I suggested that eggs were bad for our arteries, smoking more than a pack a day for ten years was bad for your arteries, and combining egg-eating and smoking was even worse, thus the effect of eggs and smoking appears to be additive. But egg yolks alone were associated with artery-clogging plaque buildup nearly two thirds as bad as smoking.

This certainly ruffled some feathers. Yes, eggs are by far the #1 source of cholesterol in the American diet, but letters to the editor like this one protested that dietary cholesterol may have very little impact on blood cholesterol levels, citing a study published in 1971 performed on eight people. But if you look at dozens of studies all put together, covering hundreds of study subjects, you find that blood cholesterol concentration is clearly increased by added dietary cholesterol. Here’s an extreme example just to illustrate, a year in the life of a study subject taken on and off eggs. First they take him off eggs, put him on a cholesterol free diet, and his cholesterol plummets within just three weeks. Then they give him lots of eggs and he’s back in trouble, and stays there until they take the eggs away and put him back on the cholesterol free diet and so on and so forth on and off like a light switch made out of eggs.

Of course the only reason we care our about our cholesterol levels or how much plaque is building up inside our arteries is because we want to avoid the consequences, like a heart attack. So, do eggs increase our risk of cardiovascular disease or not? Here’s the latest meta-analysis, the latest compilation of all the best studies on egg consumption and risk of heart disease going back to 1930. When you put them all together, what do you find? Overall, those that ate the most eggs had a 19% increased risk of cardiovascular disease, a 68% increased risk of diabetes, and then once you got diabetes, an 85% increased risk of heart disease. And it didn’t take much, less than a single egg a day was associated with a significantly increased risk of heart disease. Just over a half an egg a day may increase heart disease risk between 6 and 40%, and the risk of diabetes 29%. They conclude that their findings support the American Heart Association dietary guidelines, which advise restricted egg consumption in adults for preventing cardiometabolic disease, like diabetes, our seventh leading cause of death, and heart disease, killer number one.

To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video. This is just an approximation of the audio contributed by Katie Schloer.

To help out on the site please email volunteer@nutritionfacts.org.

Dr. Michael Greger

Doctor's Note

The link to the smoking video is here: Eggs vs. Cigarettes in Atherosclerosis

More on the diabetes connection in Eggs and Diabetes and Bacon, Eggs, and Gestational Diabetes During Pregnancy.

More on eggs and the egg industry in general:

There’s more to heart disease than just cholesterol buildup. In my next video, Eggs and Arterial Function, I’ll explore what effect egg consumption has on endothelial function, the ability of our arteries to relax normally.

 If you haven't yet, you can subscribe to my videos for free by clicking here.

  • Roseveg

    So is dietary cholesterol the smoking gun/cause of all heart disease and diabetes? Is it this simple, or is their some other causative factor inside of the egg that is causing the issue? Could it be partly the egg protein causing problems?

  • Jason

    So what about people who eat egg whites only?

    • Toxins

      The issue of animal proteins and raised IGF-1 is a very important one, and by far one of the most compelling. Please see some videos in the link below for details.
      http://nutritionfacts.org/index.php?s=igf-1

      • b00mer

        I think it’d be great if you or others on the team made a “greatest hits” compilation of some of your comments. As I recall you’ve posted some fantastic indepth responses particularly to questions about egg whites as well as a few other topics. Perhaps an FAQ tab could be added to the top of the page with some of these commonly encountered questions.

        • Toxins

          Thank you for the kind words Boomer, I think a compilation of “commonly asked questions” section is a good idea, and perhaps would be a good aside to the “ask the doctor” section. This is a suggestion you could email Dr. Greger about.

          • http://www.facebook.com/ryanseaton Ryan 船 Seaton

            Yeah, I like the commentary from team member “Synergy” as well .Expedite the FAQ section immediately :-)

          • Thea

            Ryan and Toxins and (last but not least!) b00mer: Great minds think a like. It just so happens that I submitted a request for a FAQ page last week or so. Here is the response I just got back: The NutritionFacts staff *really* like the idea of a FAQ page, but are in the middle of a large technical project right now. They can’t take on anything new. (Being a technical person myself, I find this a quite reasonable response.) They will definitely want to get back to this idea in the future, but we don’t know when that will be. Also note, that I don’t know what form/question types a FAQ page would actually take, but I was sure to submit your idea/request for the types of questions and answers you would like to see.

            So, hopefully this will be a feature that can be added in the future.

          • JacquieRN

            Thanks for submitting for us Thea!

          • http://www.facebook.com/ryanseaton Ryan 船 Seaton

            A recipe section might even be a good idea (my mother was super at cooking and baking) but that might be too much bandwith for a volunteer website . tasty Egg free baking possible ? Must thank Dr. Greger for giving us that formula for the most antioxidant hibiscus drink with the best of the sweeteners. (Sugar can be worse than meat). One love one blood friends, as we help to fight all illness , especially cancer.

          • Adrien

            Sugar can be worse than meat ? I don’t think so. You can unapologetically put a little dice of sugar in your green tea or hibiscus tea if you want, it’s not the end of the world. If you eat at the same time a plant based diet, low in fat, rich in anti-oxidant. What can it do to you ? That being said, it’s probably a good idea not using it often since it’s easy to overconsume.

          • http://www.facebook.com/ryanseaton Ryan 船 Seaton

            Well sugar doesn’t necessarily have to be worse than meat , yet it “can” be worse than meat if abused. @Michael_Greger_MD:disqus has an article somewhere on this site in which he compares sweeteners for their nutritive values. Also , if you or someone else were fighting a battle with cancer wouldn’t it make sense to choose the optimal forms of sugar , considering that cancer feeds off sugar ?

          • http://macsmiley.tumblr.com/ MacSmiley

            The low-carb forces of Gary Taubes/Robert Lustig & Co have a new movie out called “Fed Up” to pin the obesity crisis, diabetes, and heart disease on sugar instead of saturated animal fat à la Yudkin versus Ancel Keys.

            Granted, excess sugar in soft drinks and (salt+sugar+fat) in processed foods = excess calories which contribute to obesity and indirectly to diabetes and heart disease. It’s not a good thing to ingest in large amounts. But that doesn’t make it worse than meat.

            Atherosclerotic plaques have never been induced in animal experiments by simply feeding them sugared water the way they can induce plaques with saturated fat and cholesterol.

          • http://www.facebook.com/ryanseaton Ryan 船 Seaton

            The newer sweetener killer is high frutcose corn syrup yet a combination of excess sugar , salt and fats in processed foods is not a good thing as you suggested. Evaluate the considerations in my rely to Adrien above re cancer and sweeteners. Back on topic : Can you enjoy pancakes and cakes in general without eggs ?

          • JacquieRN

            Hi Ryan, as to your question concerning enjoying pancakes and cakes without eggs – yes there are many, many recipes modifications and vegan recipes that I enjoy on occasion- since cakes are a treat!

            I really love this one for its simplicity and deliciousness: http://engine2diet.com/recipe/blueberry-dumpster-cobbler/

            I am not a pancake fan but rather enjoy a good french toast – this is by far our favorite. I use sprouted grain bread (Ezekiel or such) instead of ciabatta, pure maple syrup & even skip the oil in the pan – delish! http://www.loveandlemons.com/2013/04/15/vegan-french-toast/

          • Thea

            JacquieRN: Thanks for the recipe links! I’m excited to try them. I’m particularly intrigued by the french toast recipe. I’ve made delicious vegan french toast in the past, but never with nutritional yeast. Sounds good, especially with your high endorsement. Thanks!

          • http://macsmiley.tumblr.com/ MacSmiley

            I don’t eat pancakes or any cakes in general. I haven’t felt the need to eat anything but whole foods.

            Cancer doesn’t feed off just sugar. It feeds off all the things normal cells do, just like weeds. All cells need glucose.

          • Toxins

            A sample of a few FAQ’s I envision are something like:

            1. What about cage free, organic eggs?
            2. What about organic dairy/meat?
            3. Are carbs unhealthy?
            4. Are cooking oils healthy?
            5. What about the paleo diet?
            etc.

          • Thea

            Toxin: I totally agree. Those are perfect examples of the same nutrition questions that keep coming up again and again. I try to make my own little database to supply the answers, but that takes a fair amount of time. It would be so much easier if we had a page we could refer people to or that people could find themselves.

            The types of questions that I originally came up with were less about nutrition and more about the site. Questions like:
            * Does Dr. Greger make any money off of the site.
            * Is there any corporate money that goes to pay for this site.
            * How do I become a volunteer?
            * What criteria does Dr. Greger use to pick studies to highlight? (AKA: Why didn’t Dr. Greger also cover study X.)
            * What is the best way to submit an idea for future video coverage?
            * What is the best way to submit a question that will get answered in the “Ask The Doctor” section?
            * Why doesn’t Dr. Greger participate more in the discussion area under the videos? or Why didn’t Dr. Greger answer my question?
            * etc.

            Both types of questions are helpful/important.

            I think this website will develop nicely over time to be even more helpful than it is now. It’s exciting to be part of this process. This site is such a treasure, but we can make it better…

          • http://www.facebook.com/ryanseaton Ryan 船 Seaton

            Good, better , best , never let it rest , till your good be better , and your better best . :-) Great Post Thea

    • Julot Julott

      Whites are very bland and empty of nutrients except proteins anyways…

    • Claude Martin-Mondiere

      egg white have avidin which is an inhibitor of biotin

      • cyndishisara

        Cooking the egg white is required to avoid binding biotin by avidin. Too bad because I loved once Vietnamese egg creams.

    • jude arsenault

      no,don’t eat any eggs.chickens are no more egg machines than seaguls and eggs are cruel which is the most important fact

  • oderb

    A number of doctors and medical researchers argue that eggs per se are not harmful – it’s the manner in which they are prepared that can be problematic. Scrambled eggs, omelets, and hard boiled eggs by exposing the yolk to heat and oxygen oxidizes the cholesterol. I eat soft boiled or poached eggs as they are both delicious and are a power house of nutrients. It’s too bad that as far as I know no one has studied the relationship of egg preparation to CVD,

    • Toxins

      Due to the lack of evidence as you pointed out, it is difficult to make that claim.

      • Ben

        Also, eggs are not a powerhouse of nutrition. They rank very low in nutrient density scores. For instance, kale ranks at the top in nutrient density with a score of 1000. Eggs are only around 22. Even bananas are more nutrient dense then eggs.

        • oblivion

          tell it to little ducks or chicken:P

    • Joe Caner

      I hear you. I loved me some eggs. They were the last animal product that I gave up in my quest to lower my cholesterol and avoid a lifetime on statin drugs. I experienced a 60 drop in cholesterol when I let them go. At that point I was only eating one egg a day hardboiled for my salad. Between the research and my own experience, I am convinced that eggs contribute to higher cholesterol numbers.

      • oblivion

        You are just son of fake doctors who makes people feel scare of breathing! Eggs have GOOD cholesterol needed by every cell in your body, if you have high cholesterol check your ldl and hdl levels, if your cholesterol total is high because of high good cholesterol it is great! If you have high bad cholesterol it is not because of eggs but because something else: processed food, cakes from the shop, metabolism problems caused by glucose-fructose sirup and corn sirup used by big food manufacturers, because of high level of stress/your work, fighting with people/ or if people smoke cigarettes-these things changing good cholesterol in your body into bad. And-for everybody’s sorry-there are many medicines which are needed to be taken with some diseases and doctors have to prescribe them and they have side effects like make your bad cholesterol up.
        And the thing is-if you can you could change your dies, lots of fibers, unprocessed row food cooking at home, and if this still not working people take statins. But with statins is another issue – they killing your liver and gives you not nice side effects, but if you started to take them you need to keep taking them for your whole life otherwise you have bigger troubles.

    • Claude Martin-Mondiere

      It has been studied years ago, the traditional cooking privileged soft cooked yellow, forbidden white for children under 1 year
      old because of the avidin

  • Annoyed by Paleofraud

    The CVD connection doesn’t surprise me at all; the diabetes link sure did. What are the POP levels in eggs these days? Could these be figuring into the diabetes risk? And of course the science here doesn’t squarely address the issues of eggwhites v. yolks or conventional (CAFO) vs. homeraised/organic which the fraudsters are sure to raise.

  • Joe Caner

    I loved eggs. They were the first thing I learned to cook when I was a child, and they were the last thing I gave up on my way to a vegan diet in my quest to lower my cholesterol through dietary means instead of accepting the life long regimen of statins that was proffered by my doctor. I lowered my cholesterol from 203 to 166 while incrementally giving up all dairy and flesh foods except shrimp and eggs, and my doctor said, “great, you’ve made excellent progress. I didn’t think you could get this far by diet alone, but I still want you to take statins.” To which I answered, “screw that, I’ll go vegan first.” and watched my total cholesterol drop an additional 60 points…

    • Thea

      Joe Caner: Awesome story. Fun to read. Thanks for sharing!

    • JacquieRN

      I love stories amidst the research – thank you for sharing.

    • Lawrence

      Doctors. I almost feel sorry for these people who seem hopelessly behind the power curve. I think the ‘M.D.’ has morphed from ‘medical doctor’ into ‘manage disease.’ One thing for sure: the WFPB readers of this site are light years ahead of the vast majority of doctors (and everyone else, for that matter) still mired deep in conventional treatment regimens that serve everyone except the patient very well indeed.

      • Claude Martin-Mondiere

        Most of these comments are just “tendance” and we must read it to be able to understand the questions we have as professionals. After WWII, MD set the diet for cardiac patients before open heart surgery was performed routinely, they were way ahead from today. Then miracle pills and surgery went to correct junk food diseases and most people had forgotten what made American people healthy.

    • TheGardenAddict .

      the real question is why does your doctor think that cholesterol level of 203 is harmful? Did he test your Apo B, Lp(a) and HsCRP. They are better indicators of risk for CVD, not total cholesterol.

  • Claude Martin-Mondiere

    Organic eggs ( natural eggs as our ancestors were eating) with a limit of 3 a week including cooked meals and deserts, bring you the biotin and other benefits, more than that is a recipe for serious diseases.

    • b00mer

      Sweet potatoes, oats, several types of nuts, tomatoes, and carrots are also “excellent” (>20% RDI per serving) sources of biotin. If one is concerned about biotin, there are many healthy plant-based options with overall higher nutrient density profiles and without the many safety concerns associated with eggs, including increased IGF-1, methionine, industrial pollutants, oncogenic viruses, arachidonic acid, cholesterol, and saturated fat.

      • Claude Martin-Mondiere

        I wrote ORGANIC eggs

        • b00mer

          Everything I mentioned applies to both organic and conventional eggs.

          Organic eggs contain the same IGF-1 promoting amino acid profile, methionine levels, arachidonic acid, cholesterol, and saturated fat.

          Eggs, being a trophic level above plants, are still sources of increased biomagnification of environmental pollutants.

          There is no evidence to date to suggest that organic eggs have lower rates of oncogenic viruses. These viruses are worldwide and to assume any subpopulation is immune, is not an assumption based on any evidence. It is possible to vaccinate and test for various diseases but these practices are not specific to organic or conventional egg farming.

        • joeboosauce

          “Organic,” “pasture-raised”, “grass-fed”, are the latest marketing slogans used by the industries to add yet another speculative point to distract from the fact that ALL meat, eggs, and dairy have harmful compounds in them which have definite links to the major epidemics we face today. Any perceived increases of better omegas, etc have been shown to be marginal at best.

    • Toxins

      Biotin is not a scarce nutrient, there is no reason to consume eggs for this reason. It is like saying we should consume eggs for the protein, where protein is found everywhere.

  • bobluhrs

    I hated eggs when a little kid and made to eat the slimy stinky, runny, rubbery things. There was always this argument among all the kids if the white or the yellow was better. I chose yellow but frankly the whole thing was yeccho. Later as an adult, eggs were cheap protein, so I learned to make great eggs, but usually a half dozen would sit in the fridge for weeks, sometimes months. In college some weeks for lunch I’d poke holes in raw eggs and suck out half a dozen, then go to sleep for an hour on the university center’s leather couches. I lived in my car at the time. So it really had to be desperate for me to go for eggs.

    when living alone, which I am now, I buy lots of good healthy whole plants and other things, then let some of it rot in the fridge, only cleaning out once a month or so, if that. It helps to stay slim. I know that is unconventional, but I think of it as letting an instinct run its course. Presentation is a lot with appetite, spoil the presentation, etc. The body and even the mind can figure out ways to get healthy if ‘spoiled’ a bit…so to speak.

  • vegan minstrel

    Blood cholesterol levels will initially drop on a zero cholesterol diet but they can surely creep back up even if one continues to eat a zero cholesterol diet, as the liver has no problem making the stuff in sizable quantities. Have to agree with those who would rather see research on oxidized cholesterol, as well as how diet affects LDL particle concentration, LDL-p.

  • Linda N

    May May May. Meaningless.

    • Merio

      Death and taxes are the only defined things in our lifes… apart from that keep in mind that Medicine is an empirical science, not like Math, or Physics that could foresee scientific reality from formulas on a piece of paper (eg the work of James Clerk Maxwell on electromagnetic waves)…

  • Jasmin Lee Jackson

    This talk completely ignores the examples of populations with massively high cholesterol and animal fat intakes, where blood cholesterol levels remain around the 170 mg/dl mark (e.g. Southern African tribes, Masai people in Kenya, Somalian Camel herders etc). Clearly there is more to the cholesterol-in, cholesterol-up story. There is clearly a direct relationship for some people. This is also clearly not the case for every individual, and I have on one occasion seen a vegan of 17 years in my practice, who had high cholesterol.

    • Marité

      yes, I agree nutrition should be “taylor made” it seems what is good for someone may not be good for someone else. I am wondering if in the study mentioned here, “the man” in question when on an “egg free diet” or a cholesterol free diet all together, it is not clear

    • Merio

      Do you know this site ?
      http://www.plantpositive.com
      check out the Primitive nutrition series…
      it covers the masai… of course every person is different so from a metabolic point of view maybe some people could handle more cholesterol than others…

    • Toxins

      Hello Jasmin

      Firstly, do we have studies to back up these claims? Are the lifespans of these populations short or long?

      Secondly, “Serum cholesterol concentration is clearly increased by added dietary cholesterol but the magnitude of predicted change is modulated by baseline dietary cholesterol. The greatest response is expected when baseline dietary cholesterol is near zero, while little, if any, measurable change would be ex…pected once baseline dietary cholesterol was >400-500 mg/d. People desiring maximal reduction of serum cholesterol by dietary means may have to reduce their dietary cholesterol to minimal levels” (http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/55/6/1060.full.pdf

      And lastly, saturated fat modulates cholesterol as well, “The saturated fatty acids, in contrast to cis mono or polyunsaturated fatty acids, have a unique property in that they suppress the expression of LDL receptors (Spady et al., 1993). Through this action, dietary saturated fatty acids raise serum LDL cholesterol concentrations (Mustad et al., 1997).”

      http://www.nap.edu/openbook.php?record_id=10490&page=432

      • Jasmin Lee Jackson

        I am not disagreeing that dietary cholesterol has a negative impact on serum cholesterol in many people. But I don’t like seeing scientists ignore the evidence that some times, in some contexts, high dietary cholesterol does NOT have a negative impact on cholesterol, and that, on occasion, strict vegans can have high cholesterol.

        These are the original works of the “exceptions to the rule”, there have been more since but I haven’t had full access to read the newer ones.

        Mann GV, Shaffer RD, Sandstead HH. Cardiovascular disease in the Masai.Journal of Atherosclerosis Research 1964;4:289-312.

        Lapiccirella V., and others. Enquête clinique, biologique et cardiogra-phique parmi les tribus nomades de la Somalie qui se nourissent seule-ment de lait.Bulletin of the World Health Organization 1962;27: 681-697.

        Day J, and others. Anthropometric, physiological and biochemical differences between urban and rural Maasai. Atherosclerosis 1976;23:357-361.

        • Adrien

          I don’t really understand why do we care so much about the so-called “exceptions to the rule” if we want to improve the health of the majority ? Should we have dietary recommandation based on Masai or the Eskimo way of eating ? Or do we want dietary recommandation that will improve the health of 99% or more of the people ? If you actually look at “Uprooting the leading causes of death” video you’ll see Dr. Greger proposing free cholesterol screening to vegan ! Because being vegan does not means necesarly that your cholesterol will be sufficiently down to cut your CVD risk. A vegan diet can be very high in saturated fat, laden with oil of all kind, with lot of patatoes chips, soda and processed food, etc. That it’s not what is being advocated here. We rather advocate for a whole food plant based diet (WFPB) that is low in fat (10% of calories or slightly higher but coming from whole plants sources of fat), it can be starch based with the addition of colorfull fruits and vegetable, or vegetable based with legumes as starch for a better nutrient density. That will normalized cholesterol to a healthiest level for almost everybody on earth, unless proven otherwise.

          • Ben

            And of course some people are going to incorrectly put themselves into that “exceptions to the rule” so they can continue to have their eggs, dairy and meat.

    • http://www.smittenbybritain.com/ SmittenbyBritain

      And people with low cholesterol are still dying of heart attacks.

      • Toxins

        Most people who have “normal” cholesterol numbers are the ones getting the heart attacks. The problem is not that cholesterol is negligible, its that we must redefine normal.
        http://nutritionfacts.org/video/new-target-cholesterol/

        • http://www.smittenbybritain.com/ SmittenbyBritain

          Sorry – I should have written “normal” instead of “low.” Low meaning, lower than the high cholesterol numbers we associate with heart attacks.

          • Toxins

            To be truly heart attack proof, we need to have an LDL less then 70 and a total cholesterol count less then 150. Please view the video I shared in my last comment.

          • http://www.smittenbybritain.com/ SmittenbyBritain

            To be “heart attack proof” takes more than just optimum cholesterol numbers. The type of LDL cholesterol particals you have is critical as well. http://www.drsinatra.com/defining-the-different-types-of-cholesterol

          • Toxins

            From the editor in chief of the American Journal of Cardiology.

            “As shown in Figure 1, most of the risk factors do not in themselves cause atherosclerosis [heart disease]…The atherosclerotic risk factors showing that the only factor required to cause atherosclerosis is cholesterol.”
            http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3603726/

            Particle type is irrelevant when one gets low enough, this is evident here and has been identified several decades ago, that those who have total cholesterol 150 or below essentially do not develop heart disease.
            http://ije.oxfordjournals.org/content/30/3/427/F3.expansion.html

            “If everyone smoked 20 cigarettes a day, then clinical, case-control and cohort studies alike would lead us to conclude that lung cancer was a genetic disease; and in one sense that would be true, since if everyone is exposed to the necessary agent, then the distribution of cases is wholly determined by individual susceptibility…In the case of cigarettes and lung cancer it so happened that the study populations contained about equal numbers of smokers and non-smokers, and in such a situation case/control and cohort studies were able to identify what was also the main determinant of population differences and time trends.”

            The same can be applied to heart disease, the cholesterol levels of those who get heart disease and those who do not is basically the same for most of the population. “The painful truth is that for such an individual in a Western population the commonest cause of death—by far—is coronary heart disease! Everyone, in fact, is a high-risk individual for this uniquely mass disease.”

            Again I would encourage you to view the first link I shared in my first post to you.

  • dio alp

    We know commercially raised chickens and eggs are not very healthy due in part to the high omega-6 grains and even worse the grains being of GMO origin. So… the numbers aren’t surprising but I’d be most interested to see the studies (what studies?) for pasture raised chicken eggs. Is anyone aware of studies of this nature?

  • parrotenchantress

    http://www.livescience.com/39353-eggs-dont-deserve-bad-reputation.html

    I think you need more information… read the above.

  • cyndishisara

    I am wondering if what is fed the chickens would change things? Such as flax and garlic or consuming these with an egg would this give us protection we need to stop plaque build up? Where are the studies?

    • Toxins

      Consuming flax and garlic directly would be more beneficial than combining healthy foods with a bad one. The issue with eggs go beyond their diet, as inherent compounds exist in eggs, such as the marked levels of cholesterol and arachidonic acid.
      http://nutritionfacts.org/video/egg-cholesterol-in-the-diet
      http://nutritionfacts.org/video/egg-cholesterol-in-the-diet

    • EP_2012

      Those are claims made by the egg industry, but you’d be hard pressed to find evidence supporting that theory.

      The entire “organic eggs”, “free range eggs”, “natural feed” woo woo are just marketing gimmicks used to trick people into believing that certain animal products are better than others.

  • Carlo

    Meta-analysis limited to the highest epidemiological evidence (prospective cohort studies) do not reach this conclusion, at least for CVD:

    http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/98/1/146.abstract

    http://www.bmj.com/content/346/bmj.e8539?view=long&pmid=23295181

    These two publications are the most important references on the literature about this topic, so I don’t understand why Doctor Greger doesn’t discuss ‘em.

    • Lawrence

      Hi Carlo,

      If you look at the ‘Sources Cited’ section, I think you will find much similarity between the conclusions of the studies you cite and those of this video.

      Moreover, because the studies you cite conclude that egg consumption is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease among diabetics, and according to the American Diabetes Association some 25.8 million people in America have diabetes with only 18.8 million people knowing they are diabetic, doesn’t it make sense to call for eliminating eggs from the American diet?
      http://professional.diabetes.org/admin/UserFiles/0%20-%20Sean/FastFacts%20March%202013.pdf

      And, finally, who do you know who eats less than one egg a day? Seriously, if one ate a single egg every other day it would take one 24 days to get through a single dozen eggs; almost a month! Why bother when there are so many other nutritious and health-promoting alternatives to whatever it is one thinks they are getting by eating eggs, without all the toxic baggage. Why would people vote with their dollars for an industry who lies in their faces and ignores the dangers posed by its product to its very customers so it can take their money while it robs them of their good health? (Think Big Tobacco, right?)

      Forget eggs.

  • Claude Martin-Mondiere

    IGF-1 is needed in development for children and adults. To eat 2 organic egg yolks a week is not eating 2 eggs a day. Fasting is a regulation to control most of the nutrition metabolites, eating and fasting are parts of controlling your life

    • Thea

      Claude: I’m not sure what you are thinking with your post. Consider that:

      1) You seem to be advocating that people eat 2 egg yolks. The unhealthy IGF-1 boost comes from animal protein – in other words, the white of the egg only. So, the comment about IGF-1 followed by promoting egg yolks doesn’t make sense to me.

      2) It is true that people need a certain amount of IGF-1, but as with most food and nutrients, “the dose makes the poison”. A certain amount is good. Too much is bad. You might want to check out the IGF-1 video series on this site to learn more about why getting the *extra* IGF-1 from animal protein is linked to cancer growth.

      3) Egg yolks (organic or otherwise) have a lot of issues: high in fat/calories, aracadonic acid (sp?), cholesterol, etc. People may be healthy having a small amount of egg yolk in their diet, but the data seems to indicate that people would be healthy despite having the yolks in their diet, not because of it. Just like you can probably be healthy eating fish once a year, but you would be healthy despite the fish eating, not because of it. I would think that 2 yolks a week is an unnecessarily high amount. And why go there? As others have commented, anything you can get from an egg yolk, you can get more easily and safely from whole plant foods.

      Some things to think about.

      • Claude Martin-Mondiere

        I have prescribed no egg diet when I was in nephrology, then continued in vascular surgery but not in neurology where I determined with my colleagues that 1egg a week but no more than 2 may be beneficial when it is organic. Medicine is not an exact science, and sometime it is good to eat small amount of something people used all over the world for centuries. the good nutrition is to set a plan for the month and eat all planned, only few people are able to do it. Any food has an optimal and poisoning dose. Lack of nutriments are also a danger. Nutrition is the art of balancing what you need.

      • Ben

        The healthy way to raise IGF-1 is through exercise, especially weightlifting if one has access to a weightlifting club. This is the Olympic Style Weightlifting that you see in the Olympics. It’s the healthiest form of weightlifting because it is the fullest possible range of motion using many joints at the same time. Weightlifting as a sport is 30 times safer then soccer. I have an 11 year old who competes in Olympic Weightlifting. I suspect her IGF-1 is higher then most of her non-weightlifting peers.

        • Thea

          Ben: That’s cool to hear about your 11 year old and weightlifting. Wow. Very cool.

          • Ben

            Thanks. BTW, I meant to say she probably has higher IGF-1 then her vegan non-weightlifting peers. Kids consuming dairy probably have IGF-1 levels that are too high.

            Here she is lifting on youtube. Second lifter in this video doing the snatch. Then at 3:09 she doing the clean and jerk. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a_DY42YI_IY

            I will try yo get her in vegan health and fitness if she wins the National Championship in the 13 and under.

          • Thea

            Ben: Your daughter is *amazing*.

            I have to say though, watching that video made me very tense. I held my breath thinking that one of those bars was going to drop on someone’s head… I think it takes a lot of guts to do that sport.

            Good luck to you and your daughter.

          • JacquieRN

            That is so impressive, incredible! Thank you for sharing Ben.

  • Hiwot

    This recent meta-analysis suggests that egg consumption is not significantly associated with CVD and cardiac mortality in the general population: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23676423

    What are your thoughts on this?

  • TheGardenAddict .

    In the meta-analysis cited in the video, what else were the people eating besides eggs? Were they eating a plant based diet, Mediterranean diet, or standard American processed food diet? Obviously, that is where the real difference is? An egg on a healthy salad is a whole different situation than a egg McMuffin.

    • Toxins

      Its funny you mention McDonald’s, wait till tomorrow and you will see the new video release showing eggs compared with a sausage McMuffin.

  • David R.

    Dr. Greger: I went to look at the Hopkins meta analysis study and there was a notation that you had posted a comment which was removed by the moderator. Would you please share here what your comment was that was removed?

    Thanks,
    David R.

    • Tommasina

      David, I responded to your follow-up comment but I know sometimes comments get separated so here it is again:

      Dr. Greger was leaving comments for the researchers whose research he’s featured. For some reason, perhaps because he linked to this video, his comment triggered the spam filter. I think he has been emailing researchers in the past to let them know their research was highlighted in his videos, but leaving comments for them on the article would have allowed even other researchers to possibly engage in the discussion here. And if you look below my comment, you’ll see a comment by Sean Lucan, one of the researchers who decided to join the discussion!

      Thanks for the question!

  • David R.

    Dr. Greger, it was the Li/Zhou meta analysis, not the Hopkins.

    • Tommasina

      Hi David,

      Dr. Greger was leaving comments for the researchers whose research he’s featured. For some reason, perhaps because he linked to this video, his comment triggered the spam filter. I think he has been emailing researchers in the past to let them know their research was highlighted in his videos, but leaving comments for them on the article would have allowed even other researchers to possibly engage in the discussion here. And if you look below my comment, you’ll see a comment by Sean Lucan, one of the researchers who decided to join the discussion!

      Thanks for the question!

  • Sean Lucan

    Thanks for the mention. Your readers/viewers may be interested in the rest of my letter: http://bit.ly/1brjYpd

    Particularly since 2 meta-analyses which you don’t choose to highlight come to somewhat different conclusions: http://1.usa.gov/1n1q1Jl , http://1.usa.gov/1lEdNa5

    Regardless (as I point out in my letter), is it the eggs? Or is it the
    toast and jam, pancakes and syrup, potatoes and ketchup, bagels and fruit juice, or sweetened tea or coffee that tend to get consumed with them? …

    Sean C. Lucan, MD, MPH, MS

    • Toxins

      Great to have an author on here! Your valuable work is appreciated!

  • victor

    Wow, this site reminds me of The Emperior With No Clothes! No one challenges the author??? I have been looking at so many different sites with varying claims for better health it’s mind boggling. There are vegan sites, low carb sites, paleo,keto,low fat,etc…. and are at each other’s throats all the time. The one thing they all have in common is their love of organic, free range EGGS and there top food if they had to choose just one. I personally am a doubting Thomas and need a lot of conformation but study after study is pretty persuasive for me that eggs are as good as it gets for nutrition and I don’t need to give you references because they’re all over the place. Remember, a good researcher tries to prove him or herself wrong at least as much as defending his or her position.

    • largelytrue

      …which is not at all what Lucan is doing when he cites Good Calories Bad Calories as if it were a textbook on health and nutrition. I myself have some more focused comments but am waiting to see if Gregor or someone more affiliated will respond and if Lucan will respond in turn. Generally these comments are a hit-and-run affair, if only because researchers tend to be busy and are somewhat reluctant to stake their reputation in a forum.

      Yes, you DO need to cite studies to say that eggs are as good as it gets, as part of several prongs of argument that you should be presenting:
      1) You need to give a better impression about what “as good as it gets nutritionally” means to you.
      2) You need to show what standard of research you take to be authoritative.
      3) You need to back up your claim that the research is all over by producing a relatively strong example of research. Since it is all over, it should be easy for you, Emperor.

    • Thea

      victor: Truth is not a popularity contest. Thus, it doesn’t matter how many sites say something if it is wrong. The internet is famous for people simply copying/repeating information without actually checking it or using independent thought.

      To illustrate my point with a real-life example: I decided to research microwaves a few years ago. Site after site after site after site, reguardless of the site’s focus, said microwaves are bad for you and listed a set of studies and anecdotes to ‘prove’ it. Something seemed rotten eggy to me about the logic of what I was reading, so I kept doing research. I finally found a couple of sites that confirmed that the anti-microwave studies either *do not exist* or had *terminal flaws.* I also learned that the logic holes I had seen in those anecdotes were seen by others too. However, still today, if you searched for whether or not microwaves were safe, you would be inundated with “studies” about how unsafe microwaves are.

      re: “Remember, a good researcher tries to prove him or herself wrong at least as much as defending his or her position.”
      I would turn that back on you and suggest that you continue your research. This video is just one of many on NutritionFacts which shows why eggs really are not good for you. If you want a large list of studies explaining why eggs are bad for you, can find them here. In addition, NutritionFacts has a video giving examples of how pro-egg studies are fatally flawed. Another source to check out would be Plant Positive’s series of videos. You can get in-depth information from that scholarly work on why cholesterol (a big part of all eggs, regardless of source) is bad for you.

      Good luck.

  • Joe Burdo

    This actually seems to be the latest meta-analysis:http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24711708 . The analysis was not conclusive, with one of the biggest problems (which is also true of comparisons between most primary studies) is lack of control for the same dietary confounders. One interesting tidbit from their abstract though does highlight the lack of agreement in the field: “Studies among healthy subjects found suggestive evidence that dietary interventions that include eggs may reduce the risk of T2DM and metabolic syndrome.”

  • Leanne Whitaker

    What about eggs from truly pastured, whole grain fed, non-vaccinated, no antibiotics given chickens? I raise them and have seen studies done on the lower cholesterol and higher nutrient content of these eggs. Commercially raised hens are completely different, in my opinion, but I always hear about how eggs are for you based on commercially raised hens. I’m wondering if you might do a study on the difference?

  • Me

    Well I am sure next week another guy will say how good they are. Who are we to believe? Does he work for the supporting company or the competition?
    Not saying wrong but here so many things and they all have there a
    Studies ect.
    Just like when you go to doctors office and they shove pills down your throat all depends on which co they are promoting. Lol

  • Tim

    We’ll I’m sorry to say I’ve been on and off eggs and meat no cholesterol and yes my bad cholesterol went down but my good cholesterol also went way down and my triglycerides went sky high and my blood pressure was up???? When adding saturated fat eggs and no sugar or wheat guess what, everything normal

    • Toxins

      Blood pressure is largely determined from sodium intake and whole grain consumption.
      http://nutritionfacts.org/video/whole-grains-may-work-as-well-as-drugs/

      HDL and triglycerides may not be good indicators of heart disease risk.

      A review examining 108 randomized control trials found this.

      “This systematic review and meta-regression analysis of 108 randomised controlled trials using lipid modifying interventions did not show an association between treatment mediated change in high density lipoprotein cholesterol and risk ratios for coronary heart disease events, coronary heart disease deaths, or total deaths whenever change in low density lipoprotein cholesterol was taken into account. We found a statistically significant, substantial association between change in low density lipoprotein cholesterol and risk ratios for coronary heart disease events, coronary heart disease deaths, or total deaths”

      “Our findings contribute to accumulating evidence that simply increasing the amount of circulating high density lipoprotein cholesterol does not necessarily confer cardiovascular benefits”

      They also note that HDL that is dysfunctional and pro inflammatory may be produced under certain dietary conditions, “recent data suggest that a low fat, high fibre diet, in combination with exercise, converts high density lipoprotein cholesterol from a pro-inflammatory to an anti-inflammatory state.”

      Conclusion: “Available data suggest that simply increasing the amount of circulating high density lipoprotein cholesterol does not reduce the risk of coronary heart disease events, coronary heart disease deaths, or total deaths. The results support reduction in low density lipoprotein cholesterol as the primary goal for lipid modifying interventions.”

      http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2645847/

      Another study examining the effects the different lipids in terms of heart disease risk found that “triglyceride concentration was not independently related with CHD risk after controlling for HDL-C, non–HDL-C, and other standard risk factors, including null findings in women and under nonfasting conditions.21,22 Hence, for population-wide assessment of vascular risk, triglyceride measurement provides no additional information about vascular risk given knowledge of HDL-C and total cholesterol levels, although there may be separate reasons to measure triglyceride concentration (eg, prevention of pancreatitis).”

      http://jama.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=184863

      Make sure you are consuming whole, unrefined plant foods and plenty of complex starches. A plant based diet can be just as unhealthy as a standard American diet.

  • oblivion

    Who wrote such a stupid shit on you? Eggs doesn’t make you heart attack! Your heart problems comes from using in bakery not eggs but hydrogenated plant’s fat including trans fats. Then to your diabetes contributed not eggs but your funny corn syrup, glucose-fructose sirup used by food-manufacturers which makes your blood system and metabolism system go crazy! Egg’s yolk has GOOD cholesterol needed in every cell of your body!

  • ….

    Is there any good description of the process in the body? I thought diabetes was being passed on to the children or not(in this case the insulin producing cells get destroyed by mutated cells which had attacked disease causing stuff before)? how does it relate?

  • Pat Albee

    what about egg whites? I used to like to use them in baking….no fats,no sugar,no dairy….whole grains and egg whites please for baking?

    • Thea

      Pat: How about replacing those egg whites with a “flax egg”? A flax egg is 1 Tbl ground flaxseed to 3 Tbl water. Mix up and let sit for a few minutes.

      One of the problems with egg whites is that they are almost nothing but pure animal protein. And that is linked to cancer growth. (See the NutrtionFacts series on IGF-1 for more info.) Best to stay away from egg whites for this among other reasons.
      http://nutritionfacts.org/index.php?s=igf-1

      Good luck.